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Preparing for your PST Consolidation Project

Jul 30, 2015 by Mike Weaver

One of the common questions we get during the pre-sales stage of PST Flight Deck is “What can I do to prepare for my project”? In this post, Thomas Madsen (CEO) and I wanted to cover some of the items often overlooked…

We have discussed before the importance of getting buy-in from legal and what to look for or consider when looking for a PST Migration tool. I want to cover what you should do in your environment to prepare and make the project easier and make sure you can realize the benefits of performing a consolidation:

1. Prevent new users from creating PSTs: Create a group policy that prevents users from writing to PSTs and apply it to all new users. You probably want to use the DisablePSTGrow key here. This allows users to read PSTs, delete items from PSTs, but not add content to them.
2. Prevent “0” PSTs users from creating PSTs: Scan your environment and apply the same policy to new employees as discussed in point 1. The goal is to limit who you have to migrate later.
3. Disable Auto Archive: The auto-archive feature in Outlook automatically moves items to a PST after a certain amount of time. When PSTs go away, this feature will not work. Roll this policy out to your organization so users can start using a new method and get used to this change. You can do this during the project, but many organizations have found it better to turn it off in advance.
4. Make a “shared PST” plan: If you have any kind of shared mailboxes, you will likely find small groups of users that are “sharing” PST files. Only one person could have it open at a time, but we see this time and time again. These users need not only a place to put the PST (hopefully a shared mailbox), but they also need advice on how to change their workflow. This process can be an entire project in some organizations. Make plans on how these will be handled, and seek the proper approvals to give leniency in policy to help your users with this. You may want to write some help desk procedures specifically for this case or give an escalation path.

The good news is that when you combine these tips with our PST to Office 365 migration product, you will finally see the extent of your problem and eliminate PSTs from your environment. Forever!